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The Wiley Guide to Writing Essays About Literature


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Table of Contents

Preface ix Acknowledgments xi Chapter 1 Audience and the Literary Analysis Essay 1 The Importance of Audience 1 The Audience for the Literary Analysis Essay 2 Exercise Set 1.1 Understanding Audience 7 Chapter 2 Analytical Paragraphs 9 Initial Analysis 9 Analytical Paragraphs and Their Three Components 10 Claims 10 Exercise Set 2.1 Identifying Claims 13 Evidence 14 Exercise Set 2.2 Presenting Evidence 14 Analysis 15 Common Problems in Analytical Paragraphs 18 Awkward repetition 18 Confusion about what makes meaning 19 Working with Analytical Paragraphs 20 A sample analytical paragraph 20 Exercise Set 2.3 Understanding Analytical Paragraphs 20 Exercise Set 2.4 Creating Analytical Paragraphs 21 Integrating Quotations from Literary Texts 24 Guidelines for integrating quotations 24 Exercise Set 2.5 Integrating Quotations 28 Chapter 3 Theme 31 Defining Theme 32 Debating Theme 34 Debating with the text: agreeing and disagreeing with themes 34 Debating about texts: agreeing and disagreeing about themes 35 Identifying Themes 36 Identifying themes in drama and prose fiction 36 Identifying themes in poetry 38 Identifying complex themes 44 Effective Statements of Theme 45 A checklist for effective statements of theme 45 Exercise Set 3.1 Identifying Statements of Theme 48 Chapter 4 Argument Structure 51 The Difference between a Logical Sequence and a List 51 Sample outlines 53 Exercise Set 4.1 Understanding Argument Structure 55 Organizational Paragraphs and Titles 56 Introductory paragraphs 56 Working with introductory paragraphs 58 Exercise Set 4.2 Understanding Introductory Paragraphs 59 Transitional paragraphs 60 Working with transitional paragraphs 60 Exercise Set 4.3 Understanding Transitional Paragraphs 61 Concluding paragraphs 61 Working with concluding paragraphs 62 Exercise Set 4.4 Understanding Concluding Paragraphs 63 Titles 63 Exercise Set 4.5 Understanding Titles 64 Chapter 5 Types of Literary Analysis Essays 67 Close Readings 67 Passage Analysis Essays 70 Introductions to passage analysis essays 70 The structure of passage analysis essays 71 Working with passage analysis essays 72 Exercise Set 5.1 Understanding Passage Analysis Essay Structure 72 Comparative Literary Analysis Essays 73 The purpose of comparative literary analysis essays 73 Introductions to comparative literary analysis essays 74 The structure of comparative literary analysis essays 75 Working with comparative literary analysis essays 75 Exercise Set 5.2 Understanding Comparative Literary Analysis Essays 76 Literary Analysis Research Essays 77 Literary analysis research essays using critical sources 77 Introductions to literary analysis research essays using critical sources 85 Working with critical sources 85 Exercise Set 5.3 Understanding the Use of Critical Sources 85 Literary analysis research essays using historical sources 87 Working with historical sources 89 Exercise Set 5.4 Understanding the Use of Historical Sources 89 In-Class Essays 90 Appendix 1 MLA Format 93 The Appearance of the Essay 93 Documentation: Works Cited List 94 Works cited entries: print sources 94 Works cited entries: online sources 98 Works cited entries: other non-print sources 99 Documentation: In-Text Citations 99 Formatting Quotations 101 Short quotations 101 Long quotations 102 Changing quotations 103 Appendix 2 Sample Essays 105 1 A Literary Analysis Essay on a Short Story 106 2 A Literary Analysis Essay on a Poem 109 3 A Literary Analysis Essay on a Play 111 4 A Literary Analysis Essay on a Novel 115 5 A Literary Analysis Essay on a Film 119 6 A Passage Analysis Essay 123 7 A Comparative Literary Analysis Essay 126 8 A Literary Analysis Research Essay Using Critical Sources 130 9 A Literary Analysis Research Essay Using Historical Sources 137 Appendix 3 ?The Yellow Wallpaper,? by Charlotte Perkins Gilman 141 Appendix 4 Selected Exercise Answers 157 Appendix 5 Glossary of Literary Terms 165 Appendix 6 Structure and Mechanics: Marking Abbreviations for Instructors and Peer Evaluators 183 Titles 183 Introductory Paragraphs 183 Thesis Statements 183 Analytical Paragraphs 184 Integrating Quotations 184 Index 187 Structure and Mechanics Checklist 195

About the Author

Paul Headrick teaches English at Langara College inVancouver, Canada. He is a published novelist and short storywriter whose works include That Tune Clutches My Heart(2008) and a volume of short stories, The Doctrine ofAffections (2010).


Overall Headrick has done the discipline of English agreat service in tackling what we all know but seldom get round tosaying to our students such comprehensive clarity or socourteously!. (The English Association Journal forTeachers of English, 1 October 2014

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